Rail users in south east London and north Kent will be hit by the largest fares hike in five years next month.

Average ticket prices will go up by 3.4 per cent on January 2, the Rail Delivery Group has said.

This is the largest hike since 2013, when fares were increased by 3.9 per cent.

The increase affects both regulated fares, which includes season tickets, and fares such as off-peak leisure tickets.

One in nine trains failed to meet the rail industry's punctuality target in the past 12 months.

The RDG said more than 97p in every pound from fares goes back into improving and running the railway.

Chief executive Paul Plummer noted that the Government controls increases to almost half of fares while the rest are "heavily influenced" by the payments train companies make as part of contracts to run franchises.

He said: "Alongside investment from the public and private sectors, money from fares is underpinning the partnership railway's long-term plan to change and improve."

Plans for the biggest modernisation of Southeastern were announced last week, including plans to cut some servies.

Average rail fares for Southeastern services rose by just under 2 per cent last year.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union described the fares announcement as "another kick in the teeth" for passengers.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "For public sector workers and many others in our communities who have had their pay and benefits capped or frozen by this Government, these fare increases are another twist of the economic knife.

"The private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank."